|Back in 2005, Sudoku exploded on to the scene and became an
international hit. You could argue that it’s the most popular number
based puzzle game at the moment as Sudoku
is played online,
on video game consoles, in newspapers and magazines and also on mobile
Back in the 19th century, Le Siècle, a Paris-based daily newspaper published a partially completed 9×9 magic square with 3×3 sub-squares. It wasn’t a Sudoku because the puzzle required arithmetic to solve instead of logic and it contained double digit numbers instead of only single digit numbers. But there were still some similar characteristics and within three years, the puzzle was refined by La France, a rival newspaper, to almost the Sudoku that we know now.
As for this modern Sudoku, it’s believed to have been designed in 1979 by Howard Garns, a 74 year old architect from Indiana. It was then published by Dell Magazines under the name “Number Place” before being picked up and popularized by Japanese puzzle company Nikoli.
Nikoli introduced the puzzle in Japan in 1984 under a name that can be translated as "the digits must be single" or "the digits are limited to one occurrence." It was later changed to Sudoku and after Nikoli made two innovations to the game in 1986, it became the Sudoku that we play now.
More info at wikipedia